Back in the saddle, Mercito Gesta is raring to go

April 9, 2014 No Comments
Wouldn't it be grand if you had a support staff like this? Photo taken Saturday, April 5, 2014 at the Gesta Gym on Activity Road in San Diego, CA Photo: Jim Wyatt

Wouldn’t it be grand if everyone had a support staff like this? Photo taken Saturday, April 5, 2014 at CMAC BPS Gym, Activity Rd, San Diego.

April 9, 2014

Thursday, April 10th, at 2:00 p.m. the 14 boxers scheduled to fight on the Friday, April 11, 2014 Boxing Card at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the latest installment of “Ringside at Del Mar”, will weigh in at the Plaza Bonita Mall at O’s American Kitchen (east side of mall), 3030 Plaza Bonita Rd., National City, CA 91950.


Immediately following the weigh-ins, there will be a press conference plus a meet and greet session with the public. Why all the fanfare?

It’s because of the gentleman in the Main Event, 26 year-old, southpaw Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta, who is making his return to the ring after a one year, four month and four day, soul searching layoff. His opponent, 27 year-old Edgar “Basuras” Riovalle of Mexico City, Mexico (37-17-2) with his awesome 26 KOs, better be ready.

Of course he will. Riovalle has been a workhorse for 10 years and it’s likely he’s never considered taking time off. Just like his nickname indicates, “Basuras” translation “Trash” is a brawler who will go nonstop against Gesta.

This past Saturday, Gesta, the show’s headliner, held a public workout at the family’s gym off Miramar Road, and also made guest appearances at a local USA Amateur Boxing show, the Filipino Sun Festival and at the popular Seafood City Supermarket in Chula Vista. Gesta is a hands on, meet and greet celebrity who like Manny Pacquiao has a warm heart, a warrior who has been embraced by his Filipino brethren.

Photos from Saturday’s workout and barbecue are below.

In the Gesta gym the memories are everywhere. (top, right) This is a special photo showing Anecito Gesta Sr.'s first teacher, 94 year-old Supreme Master Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete, who they say was the greatest Eskrima fighter of all time.

In the Gesta gym the memories are everywhere. (top, right) This is a special photo showing Anecito Gesta Sr.’s first teacher, 94 year-old Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete, who they say was the greatest Eskrima fighter of all time.

The second most treasured memento is this collage under glass created byone of Mercito Gesta's dearest friends.

The second most treasured memento is this beautiful painting, a collage from past fights created by one of Mercito Gesta’s dear friends.

memorable postersthe memorabilia is everywhereweapons of choicehitting the midsectionHitting the speed bag

Anecito Gesta Jr. playfully hits the mitts with one of the youngsters in the gym. All photos: Jim Wyatt

Anecito Gesta Jr. playfully hits the mitts with one of the youngsters in the gym.


Non non not as focused as his brother

Together with a neighbor from across the way, Gesta invented a brand new exercise to help with his balance. The label insinuating that the big balloon weighs 2,000 lbs. is a lighthearted attempt to be humorous.

Together with a neighbor from across the way, Mercito Gesta invents this brand new exercise regimen to help with your balance and tightening of the abdomen. You lean right, then left while dealing with the wind that’s comes straight at you. How do you think the Hula Hoop got started? The label insinuating the balloon weighs 2,000 pounds is a lighthearted attempt to put a smile on your face.

After working out with his father, a trained maseuse works on Mercito back muscles with his father Anecito Gesta.

After the strenuous workout with his father, a massage therapist massages Mercito Gesta’s back while his father Anecito Gesta Sr. pulls back on his arms.

As they say, a fun time was had by all. (top, right) the boxing brothers Anecito Gesta Jr. and Mercito Gesta pose for a photo. All photos: Jim Wyatt

As they say, a fun time was had by all. (top, right) the boxing brothers, Anecito Gesta Jr. (l) and Mercito Gesta (r) pose for one last photo. Photos: Jim Wyatt

So what did happen in Mercito Gesta’s last bout?

He fought Miguel Vazquez (34-3-0, 13 KOs), the elusive IBF World Lightweight Champion and lost decidedly after he landed only 61 punches, connecting on just 18% of the punches thrown. With his opponent landing three times as many punches, the judges had him winning most every round. With Gesta’s face being splattered across six of the seven continents, the match being a pay-per-view televised world title bout on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV and having your boss, promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank, sitting right there at ringside, you knew something bad was going to happen.

You could almost read Arum’s mind, ‘Note to self, tomorrow, first thing, we rip up this kid’s contract.” 

This is when the riffraff of sports journalism, self included, revisit the earlier Arum prophecies, boasts and expose them for what they are – pure, unadulterated bunk, nonsense. 

Bob Arum (left)  lays it on thick after Mercito Gesta's first win under the Top Rank, Inc.

Bob Arum (l) lays it on thick after Mercito Gesta (r) wins his first fight under the Top Rank, Inc. banner.

“I want this kid to fight for a title, maybe before year’s end,” a glowing Bob Arum said in the ring after Gesta’s first bout under the new promotional contract. “I don’t want to be too ethnic but he’s the next (Manny) Pacquiao.”

Arum would make similar remarks at each post fight press conference and Gesta would often blush at this effusive praise. 

Arum: “Frankly, besides being fighters, Filipinos and aggressive southpaws, Pinoy Idol Pacquiao and former Muay Thai style boxer Gesta could not be more different. Gesta has nifty hand speed and some slick footwork that Pacquiao, at the same age, did not have. It’s only been in recent years that Pacman has been floating like a butterfly while always stinging like a bee.

“It’s no stretch to state that, at a similar stage of pro ring development, Gesta is the more polished product. Don’t forget that we’re talking the pre-Freddie Roach version of Pacquiao.”   

Gesta, who resides in San Diego after growing up in Mandaue City in the Cebu province of the Philippines, is eager to prove to everyone, including Top Rank, that he still has that fire in his belly. He needs to prove that the Vazquez fiasco was a mirage. And so, the Edgar Riovalle fight becomes the first hurdle in that quest.  

Quotes from our principles:

Mercito Gesta: “The time is right to get back in the ring and show the world I can still compete at the championship level. I’m ready for anyone they put in front of me. I’ve had time to reflect on my loss to Miguel Vasquez, which was a great learning experience, and have vowed to come back stronger than ever.

“San Diego is my second home. So I’m super excited to be making my return to the ring at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. All my family and friends can come and see me fight. I want to thank all the promoters who are putting this fight card together. Believe me, “No Mercy” is back!” 

Promoter Andy Perez, president of A&T GYM: “Every card has been great since we started the “Ringside at Del Mar” Boxing Series last year, but this one is shaping up to be the strongest card to date. The response from the San Diego fans has been overwhelming. We have a great passion to grow the series and bring world class fights that showcase the sport’s best rising talent in a legendary venue like the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The fairgrounds offers us a first-rate environment where you can bring the entire family to enjoy a great night of boxing.” 

Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Robert Diaz: “This is a new beginning, a new team, and a new Mercito Gesta. A loss does not end a career. How a fighter responds to adversity helps define the makings of a true champion. If he can put together a few good victories, he’ll be right back in the mix to challenge any of the current lightweight world champions.”

Advance tickets for “Ringside at Del Mar” are $25 (General Admission), $55 (Ringside), $75 (VIP Table eating), and $100 (limited Apron seats). Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketmaster, at, by phone at (858) 755-1161, or in person at the Del Mar Fairgrounds ticket office. The “Ringside at Del Mar” live boxing event is sponsored in part by 7UP, Joel Diaz Training Camp, MyAttorney911, Virtual Tax Solutions, Rincon Del Mar, Mi Familia Market, and El Latino Newspaper.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds is located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar. Doors open at 7 p.m. The evenings first of seven bouts is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. 

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